Have never heard of Sanibel Island, Fla. Looks beautiful, more beautiful than other beaches, or it appears that way at the moment(smile). Have you heard of it or visited it? Maybe I can try to put up a poll. I’m curious about friends’ feelings about this island. If you know how to put up a poll on WordPress, would you leave me easy instructions? My uncle lived in Ocala, Florida. Lots of relatives from different parts of Florida, and we have visited Florida. Never heard of this island. It just strikes me as remarkably beautiful.
Yellow sunrise beams.
The ocean touches the sand.
My eyes linger there.
Teresa was told often by her husband, “you’re crazy. Now, she felt something was really going on. Teresa was afraid to voice her fears. They sounded crazy to her. What would they sound like to a preacher, a friend or relative? She decided to take a chance. Too many people seemed to have given hint after hint. Earlier in her life she could catch hints. Now she couldn’t catch a hint or remember the hint. Each night she tried to look closely at her husband’s face. He kept standing in the shade of the lamp. He’d rub his face with his hands as if to clear some awful image. At times, he acted identical to their oldest son. It was a spooky likeness. Because that might mean her husband had become mentally ill too. Teresa stopped trying to look closely at him. She was afraid. Afraid if she acted differently he might hurt her. He’d never hurt her, but was he different now? Was he not the person she had always thought? Could she possibly have been fooled and was sleeping with a stranger? Who could she ask? Where could she turn? Late in the mid hours of the morning she spooked easily. He was watching her. She was watching him. What was going on? Was anything going? Was her worse nightmare one she had never dreamed?
Pieces of conversation came back to her from the mouths of friends, acquaintances and even the t.v. seemed to speak to her. She felt surely no one would take her side. They would say she was exaggerating. Weren’t mothers always wrong, at fault? There was so much to tell. Teresa had to wait for the right moment, the right technology. The moment wasn’t now. Oddly, she loved him. He never held her. She would reach over at night and put her arms around him. He always said, “I’ll keep you safe. Don’t worry. You’re safe with me.” He didn’t say it as often. She didn’t feel as safe. It were as if ten strangers were living in her house in the body of one man.
During your first night as a suicide hot-line counselor, you answer the phone to hear a woman screaming and crying. “My husband says he will be back in thirty minutes. He says, “when I come back, I’m gonna beat you black and blue.” The suicide counsellor allows her to talk without interrupting. Finally, she says, “I’m going to jump out the window. I’d rather die than have him beat me again.”
“Listen, take a deep breath with me. Now I want you to call the police. Have them meet you somewhere away from the house not. Can you do that for me?”
“I think so. I don’t really want to commit suicide. I’m carrying my first baby.”
“Okay, time is passing. Don’t try to take anything with you. Hang up. Then, call the police. Then, leave as quickly as possible, and don’t hurt yourself.”
The counsellor heard a deep breath. Then, the phone clicked. She hoped the woman would make it out of there and not pass her husband on the way in. She said to a fellow worker. “I hate men who beat women. I really hope they burn in….Well, let me hush up before I say something I shouldn’t. Don’t want to get fired on my first night. I didn’t think about him returning early or meeting her while she was leaving. I feel my advice could have been so much better. I was so nervous I couldn’t think.”
Another worker, a male, got up and went to the water fountain. “Don’t worry. All of us have made our mistakes. You’ll do better next time. This time wasn’t too bad. Just hope and pray she makes it to safety. That’s all you can do.” The phone began to ring again.
To escape from head pain.
To escape from becoming
an ancestor ghost.
I am ordinary.
I drink milk for breakfast.
I play Bingo on Monday evening.
On Wednesday night, I go to Prayer meeting.
Are you ordinary too?
Yes, I buy my potatoes from the corner grocer.
I knead and bake my bread.
I weed my marigolds in the morning.
How about you?
Are you ordinary too?
No, I fly to Paris once a month.
I can dance the Tango.
My bed sheets are satin and silk.
I never heard the word ordinary.
Will you teach me what it means?
I can not teach you.
It’s the real you lying inside
like an oyster in its shell.
I’ve lost trust in Janice. We’ve been friends since the second grade. Now we’re Seniors in high school. She’s never been completely trustworthy. She stole a boyfriend of mine. Once she told a deep dark secret of mine to the whole sixth grade class. I don’t know why. I forgave her. I believed her each time she said it would never happen again. This time I can’t forgive her. She told all the important people in my life that my mom is a bar hopper and a whore. Really, it isn’t the truth. Why would she make up such a lie? I think Janie is jealous of me. She’s never really been my friend. That’s what really hurts. Because I trusted her so much. She was the sister I never had but wanted all my life. My parents treated her like their daughter. My mom never hurt her. Why would she say something so daggone ugly and horrible? I wanted to kick her butt. She’s five inches taller than me. That made me change my mind. Plus, I’ve seen her in fights. She really can fight. She pulls hair like an orangutan might pull hair. She scratches your face. She goes crazy. Really, I think she is crazy. This time I’m not making up with her. If this is friendship, I don’t want it.
Now when I walk down the hall at school, everybody laughs at me. One boy hollered, “you gonna be like yo’ mama?” I dropped all my books on the floor. Left my school locker open. Ran outside of school. I passed my street and ran up the hill to the cemetery. No one comes here unless they have to bring a body for a funeral. I don’t have to worry about a truant officer coming by. I don’t have to worry about seeing Janie’s big nose looking down trying to find out my business. I didn’t want to cry. Couldn’t help it. Janie never was my friend. The kids in school didn’t care one bit about me unless there was a way I could pass them an answer to a quiz or do all their homework.
I use to do all of that for them. I thought that would make them like me. I knew underneath they didn’t really like me. I couldn’t face knowing that fact. You can’t go through public school without friends. If they ever figure out you’re a loner, you can forget it. They will hurt you up bad. I pulled a nickel out of my pants pocket. I looked at the print, “In God We Trust.” I remembered my Grandmama telling me, “Don’t trust nobody but the Good Lord.” I didn’t know what she meant. She was always humming and making up some old saying to quote day after day after day. As I say by the grave of Jenella Lincoln, I had to look down at the gravestone to see her name, I wondered did Grandmama know what she was talking about. Man, I had to have somebody to trust. I decided to go to church on Sunday. I would go with my brother, Tom. That way I wouldn’t be by myself. I wouldn’t sing. While the preacher was preaching, I would read the words to the hymns. They seemed to talk about Jesus in almost every song. And tonight I would try to say my prayers.
Now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I die before I wake, I pray the
Lord my soul to take.
I didn’t know about a soul or none of that stuff. I just believed praying it would help me get my trust back in folks again. Maybe Jesus would send me a “real” friend. Someone I could tell anything to and they would really care how I felt. That would be my first prayer. “Jesus, I need a friend.” I looked at Jenella’s gravestone. She died at ten years old. I would come back and visit her. Put a rose or two on her grave. If I couldn’t find roses to pick, I would bring and leave my gold locket for her. I don’t think anyone would steal it. After all, couldn’t you trust people who came to visit cemeteries?